VPN for Expats - 7 Reasons Why Expats Need to Use a VPN

VPN for Expats - 7 Reasons Why Expats Need to Use a VPN

If you're an expat using the internet, you need to use a VPN. It is the best way to ensure a secure connection wherever you are, while also being able to watch your favorite videos online.

Are you an expat or on your way to expatriate?

Then you might've heard about using a VPN for expats. If you haven't heard about a VPN before, we'll walk you through how a VPN can highly improve your experience of living abroad.

We all have access to the internet, but this doesn't mean our access is equal. The rules over the internet differ from country to country. Content and services that are allowed in a country can be blocked in another. Even the security of the internet connection is different based on the location.

Regardless whether you're expatriating long term or you're traveling to foreign locations once in a while, you'll face various inconveniences concerning your internet connection when living abroad. Let's go over the main reasons why you need to use a VPN as an expat.

What is a VPN

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) creates an encrypted connection between your device and the websites you access over the Internet. The traffic will be routed through the VPN's server, in a location of your choice. Say you are in China and connecting to a VPN server in the US. To the websites you access, it will look as you're connecting from the US.

Even if someone manages to get hold of your internet activity, there won't be much for them to see as the VPN service encrypts all the information, making for a secure internet connection.

1. Keep in touch with your close ones

One of the most important parts when being an expat living in a foreign country is keeping in touch with your loved ones. But if you're located in a country where the access to social media platforms or other messenger applications is limited, you'll have to stay connected with your family by sending an email once in a while. Not the perfect scenario.

With a VPN service, you'll be able to connect to a server located in your own country. This will unblock your access to all the platforms and services that are allowed in your country because, to the websites you access, you'll look as being connected from your country.

Examples of social media platforms and messaging apps restricted over the world

Skype, WhatsApp, SnapChat, FaceTime are blocked in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar - These countries have blocked VoIP services (Voice over Internet Protocol) to protect the profits of the countries telecom providers. Some apps and websites get unblocked after receiving licenses from the governments.

Instagram in Iran - In 2017, Iran has blocked Instagram and Telegram for a couple of days so they would stop the spreading of anti-government protests. Even if they unblocked the websites afterward, they also slowed down the speed of the internet so the messages are delivered sluggishly.

Most of the western social media platforms in China - There are a lot of Chinese people that never heard of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So if you're an expat in China and want to keep using social media platforms, you absolutely need a VPN. Even Google and Wikipedia are banned in China.

Reddit in Russia - Russia has banned Reddit back in 2015 because of the threads containing advice on how to grow magic mushrooms.

YouTube in China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Sudan, and South Sudan - Countries such as Pakistan have unblocked YouTube, but they still restrict certain content.

2. Unblock your favorite content wherever you are

One of the most popular reasons to use a VPN is to unblock geo-restricted content.

Many of us have TV shows and other programs we use to watch on a regular basis. You might even enjoy watching live TV, especially when you are abroad and get homesick. As an expat, you might find that your favorite video streaming websites are blocked in the country you're located in.

Even YouTube is restricted in certain countries. You might have noticed that some videos that are available in a region are blocked in another. This is because a lot of online content is geographically restricted.

By using a VPN, you'll be able to unblock your favorite content online and feel like home even if you're an expat in China or Spain.

Let's say you're an expat in China and you want to access the US version of Netflix. By using a VPN service, you can choose to connect through a server located in the US. Netflix will see your connection as coming from the US and will allow you to access the content to watch the TV shows you want.

Examples of blocked content around the world

Indonesia - Vimeo, Imgur, Giphy, 4chan, file sharing websites (i.e. Pirate Bay, Rargb, Isohunt), pornographic sites

The United Kingdom - file sharing websites (i.e. Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents, Torrentz, Isohunt), streaming (i.e. PrimeWire, Putlocker, Megashare)

Pakistan - WordPress, Flickr, Wikipedia, Twitter

China - Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, US-media

Russia - Telegram, LinkedIn

3. Don't miss important sports events

As an expat, you might also notice sports streams are blocked in other countries. And if you're a sports enthusiast, not being able to watch important events is a great inconvenience.

By using a VPN, you'll be able to watch sports streams in other countries with minimal speed loss. Never miss a UFC match, NFL game, or NBA playoff showdown again just because you were traveling abroad.

4. Protect yourself against censorship

Some countries have strict laws on censorship and you might not even know what exactly are the things you're not allowed to say.

Not only North Korea and China have strict rules about what you can do online. For example, in countries like Poland, Spain, The Netherlands, Thailand or Venezuela, it is considered a crime to insult the head of state. Even criticizing the government can be seen as an illegal act.

As an expat, not being aware of the things that are considered illegal is not uncommon. Especially because these rules are becoming stricter and it's hard to keep up with all the changes.

Getting a VPN for expats will encrypt your online activity, making you anonymous online, so no one will be able to see what you said or where you were located. This way, you'll avoid becoming a criminal by mistake.

5. Find cheaper flights and better deals

Most of the deals you see online are targeted towards specific locations. The websites that offer plane tickets or traveling deals see your IP address (the location you are connecting from) and display deals based on the location. The prices for your country might be higher than the prices displayed for users in other countries.

By using a VPN you can connect through various servers in multiple locations and compare different prices. This way, you'll save a lot of money when traveling. And, as an expat, this gives you the opportunity to visit your friends and family more often.

6. Stay safe on public WiFi networks

Even if free WiFi public networks in airports, coffee shops, or hotels are extremely useful when you're out and in need to access the internet, they are also a great risk for being hacked.

When you connect to a WiFi public network, you are vulnerable to attacks from hackers connecting to the same network. Because the network is not is not encrypted and it's weak due to the heavy usage, it's easy for hackers to intercept any information you send or receive over the internet, including usernames and passwords.

By using a VPN, you turn the unsecured WiFi network into a secure connection where your information is encrypted. Even if someone manages to access the data traffic between your device and the internet, they won't be able to read the information because of the encryption layer. They'll only see the encryption keys which consist of random letters and numbers.

7. Keep your transactions secure

You online banking process is not as secure as you might think.

The connection to your bank website can still be hacked even if the bank uses HTTPS. A common way of hacking online banking processes is known as SSL Strip, which means the hacker will force the connection to HTTP instead of HTTPS. There are also other methods through which a hacker can get access to your bank information, including social engineering and installing malware on your computer.

Using a VPN for money transactions is a must, especially if you're a business owner. Adding an extra layer of encryption to online banking will protect your banking information from hackers trying to get hold of your account and money.

Best VPN for expats

The DrSoft VPN service is designed to offer users online privacy so they can have complete freedom over the internet. With servers located all around the world, and a secure 256-bit encryption, you'll be anonymous on the internet and you'll be able to access your favorite content from anywhere. You can use the service on up to 5 devices, so you'll be safe even when surfing the internet from your tablet.

Moreover, because of the No Logs Policy, you can make sure no one will get to see your browsing history, even if the government requires to, because there it'll be no records to show.

Even if you're an expat in the UK, Spain, or China, a VPN for expats is a necessity if you want to have a flawless stay abroad.

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